Intrinsic and acquired resistance to mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitors (MAPKi) in melanoma remains a major therapeutic challenge. Here, we show that the clinical development of resistance to MAPKi is associated with reduced tumor expression of the melanoma suppressor Autophagy and Beclin 1 Regulator 1 (AMBRA1) and that lower expression levels of AMBRA1 predict a poor response to MAPKi treatment. Functional analyses show that loss of AMBRA1 induces phenotype switching and orchestrates an extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-independent resistance mechanism by activating focal adhesion kinase 1 (FAK1). In both in vitro and in vivo settings, melanomas with low AMBRA1 expression exhibit intrinsic resistance to MAPKi therapy but higher sensitivity to FAK1 inhibition. Finally, we show that the rapid development of resistance in initially MAPKi-sensitive melanomas can be attributed to preexisting subclones characterized by low AMBRA1 expression and that cotreatment with MAPKi and FAK1 inhibitors (FAKi) effectively prevents the development of resistance in these tumors. In summary, our findings underscore the value of AMBRA1 expression for predicting melanoma response to MAPKi and supporting the therapeutic efficacy of FAKi to overcome MAPKi-induced resistance.